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INDIANAPOLIS – The 10th-ranked University of New Hampshire men's hockey team received an at-large bid to the 2011 NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Championship and will face off against sixth-ranked Miami University, the tourney's fourth seed, in a first round game of the Northeast Regional that will be played March 26 at the Verizon Wireless Arena (Manchester, N.H.) live on ESPNU. The announcement was made Sunday by the NCAA Division I men's hockey selection committee live on ESPN2.
UNH, which extended its second-longest active streak of consecutive NCAA tournament appearances to 10, enters the NCAA tournament with a 21-10-6 overall record. The Wildcats completed the Hockey East regular season second in the standings with a 17-6-4 mark and advanced to the league semifinals. New Hampshire has a 14-24 record in 20 previous NCAA appearances with seven Frozen Four appearances. This is the team's 17th appearance under the guidance of head coach Dick Umile.
Miami, which is making its sixth consecutive NCAA tourney appearance, enters the first round with a 23-9-6 overall record. The RedHawks finished third in the CCHA standings (behind the University of Michigan and University of Notre Dame) with a 16-7-5 league record and earned automatic qualifier status by winning the CCHA tournament. In eight previous NCAA appearances, Miami has compiled a 7-8 record; the Red Hawks finished as runner-up in 2009.
New Hampshire has a 5-5-1 lifetime record, including 0-1 in the NCAA tournament against Miami. The Wildcats and RedHawks faced off in a two-game series in Ohio to open the 2010-11 season. Miami skated to a 6-3 victory in Game 1 but UNH prevailed 6-3 the following night.
In the only previous NCAA postseason matchup between these programs, UNH was the top seed of the 2007 Northeast Region – also at the Verizon Wirelesss Arena – but was ousted from the tourney with a 2-1 loss to the Red Hawks.
The other first round game of the 2011 Northeast Regional pits Merrimack College (25-9-4 overall, 16-8-3 Hockey East) against the University of Notre Dame (23-13-5, 18-7-3) at 7:30 p.m. on March 26. The first-round victors advance to play each other March 27 at 8 p.m.
The University of New Hampshire athletic department and Verizon Wireless Arena announced that tickets for the 2011 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Northeast Regional are now on sale for $77 for adults, $57 for children ages 2-12/Senior Citizen 65+.
Tickets for the Northeast Regional at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, N.H. can be purchased at the Whittemore Center Box Office, the Verizon Wireless Arena by logging on to www.NCAA.com/frozenfour or by calling 800/745-3000.
UNH Fan Headquarters Information
Margarita's Mexican Restaurant, located at 1037 Elm Street in Manchester, N.H., will be the site of "UNH Fan Headquarters" for the 2011 NCAA® Men's Division I Ice Hockey Tournament Northeast Regional on March 26-27. The restaurant's doors will open at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 26, and fans are encouraged to dine prior to the Wildcats' regional semifinal game versus Miami University at 4 p.m. The UNH "Beast of the East" pep band and mascot Gnarlz will make an appearance, and servers will wear UNH hockey hats all weekend long. Margarita's is a long-time corporate partner of UNH Athletics and was the site of the "Fan Headquarters" for the 2007 and 2009 NCAA Northeast Regional events.